The #1 reason that people call me is because they are stuck in a funk. Their lives just are not working out to be happy or fulfilled. These people tell me they have tried so many ways to let go of their past, get unblocked from negative feelings or let go of behaviors they are unhappy with and nothing has worked. They are at their wits end. They feel frustrated and failed by a system that seems unable to help them heal.
Many years ago, before I entered the field of hypnosis, I worked in the world of mental health where I found to my great dismay the over riding idea was to make sure that our clients were taking their medications, were doing what the staff thought was best and in all too many cases not interested in what the clients thought would help them the most. No wonder the results from these interventions were a mass of clients working the system to live a marginal life where an apartment, food and health care was taken care of without any effort on their part. Staff was there to make sure the paper work was completed, medication was refilled, appointments were made and kept and rent was paid. The only problem was that the clients were taught learned helplessness, quite contrary to learning how to take care of themselves and build a fulfilling and as normal a life as possible as promised in the mission statements of these programs. I was challenged to see how the mission statements of these programs correlated with the services the clients received. I worked in exactly one program that demonstrated a true desire to work with the clients in a caring and respectful manner. Thankfully that was the first mental health program I worked and where I learned how to create healthy yet caring boundaries with our clients. From then on every other program I worked in proved to be unhelpful and in many cases destructive to the well being of the clients that were placed there to receive the guidance that they needed due to their illnesses.
It was as a result of this experience that I searched for a better way to serve the clients with which I would be working. It took a long time to find it, however hypnotism and neuro-linguistic programming would become my way. One of the basic presuppositions of NLP are that everyone has their own answers in their own mind, in this case the unconscious mind. This is a very important difference between the way hypnotist work and the conventional therapists work. Conventional therapists need a diagnosis to bill insurance which means creating a label for all their clients, of which many are never told. In some cases knowing your diagnosis can be helpful because you can research and find out what you can do to help yourself. Unfortunately, though in the area of mental health the diagnosis label can also create many issues for what is known as “secondary gain”. In other words people will remain ill, unconsciously, for they are not conscious of why they are doing what they are doing. They are getting something positive from the illness and so they hold on to that label. In some cases like so many that claim to have ADD or ADHD even though never tested for it, they have the ready excuse that they cannot focus, and medication is required to do so. Perhaps it is just an excuse for not being able to do what maybe they could if they chose to put in the effort to do so. This means that many ill people remain ill instead of getting better.
My partner, Donna N. has written many articles on substance abuse for this newsletter on how people with these issues are taught how not to cope with life well. This is because the system teaches them that they can be in recovery yet never “recovered” as she has been able to do with the hypnosis treatment she underwent. Instead of being dependent on NA and AA meetings to keep her clean while telling her unconscious mind and everyone at the meeting that she is an “addict” and “will always be an addict”, she has been able to come to the point where she has zero inclination to ever reach out for those opiates that always called to her previously. She is no longer an addict of any sort for there is no desire to use any substance not even aspirin unless it is truly needed.
Depression is another issue that Donna has written much about in this newsletter. There are many different reasons why people may have feelings of depression. (See Newsletter May 2010) There are indeed cases where anti-depressants may help, however if it is hormonal, based on some other illness that has limited your world in some way, lack of certain nutrients, allergies or a loss you suffered anti-depressants will not help because they are not addressing the root cause of the problem. Many times people are depressed because they are not happy with the way their life is turning out which means taking a look at what it is that you would like to have happen and working to make those changes.
Spreading the notion that people lack the ability to learn how to do without their illnesses creates a sicker society. It is a truth that our society is getting ever sicker with all the psychotropic medications that are being dispensed as if they were candy, much of it sold on the street illegally rather than being used for the intended purposes. This has created a much larger problem with drug abuse of legal substances than those of illegal substances today, according to a recent report of the National Institute of Drug Addiction. Here are the findings regarding teen high school students:
“Another area of concern is the nonmedical use of prescription drugs. Among 12th-graders, 8 of the 13 most commonly abused drugs (excluding tobacco and alcohol) were prescription or over-the-counter medications, over half of which were given to them or were purchased from a friend or relative.
According to the 2009 MTF survey, past-year nonmedical use of Vicodin and OxyContin increased during the last 5 years among 10th-graders; and remained unchanged among 8th- and 12th-graders. Nearly 1 in 10 high school seniors reported past-year nonmedical use of Vicodin, and 1 in 20 abused OxyContin. The NSDUH showed that in 2008, the number of individuals aged 12 or older who abused prescription pain relievers for the first time (2.2 million) was roughly even with that of marijuana.”
Another very important aspect of hypnosis and NLP training is the idea that people need to be “at cause” for their own lives. What this means is that one has to take responsibility for the change desired. As a hypnotist I facilitate the change, give many methods to be to make the change and then it is up to the client to do whatever it takes to make those changes. This is the opposite of the the passive methods that I saw being used in the programs I worked in where the client was being told what to do, forced to pop multiple pills with all sorts of side effects, many of them sedating, and rarely allowed any direct in put into the process of their own healing.
Once I started working in my hypnosis practice especially with those with eating disorders and substance abuse issues, it was made clear that they again were being told what to do in the expensive programs that they attended, never given the opportunity to have a direct role in what they saw as important to their being invested into the program. Yes, these particular clients are known in the world of mental health as being manipulative and angry so they are given much structure around those particular behaviors. However, there is a difference between not being manipulated by a client and giving the client some say regarding what they feel would be helpful for their own healing. I would have to believe that if someone is spending thousands of dollars of their own money for treatment they would like to be healed or why even make the investment of time and money?
There is another important difference working in the field of hypnosis from that of conventional therapy, and that is that we do very quick interventions forcing the client to do the work if they choose to change. The goal is to have the client living a fulfilling life without the need to continuously see us. We give our clients the tools and techniques to use in their own lives so that they can move past what ever is bothering them and that is the best thing about this work. The client is accountable for their own success. With a client who is ready, willing and able to take responsibility for their own healing, healing can happen very quickly indeed. It is just a matter of making a decision that the time is now and it is worth it to move forward.
If you are feeling lost, lonely, unfulfilled or unhappy I suggest you look for a hypnotist/NLP practitioner who has had proven success with the sorts of issues that you are looking to heal from. Get a sense of whether you trust the practitioner for you will need that for any sort of changes to take place. Once you choose the practitioner stick with the program and you will be amazed at how quickly you can let go of the “funk” that you were stuck in. Really, it is amazing what an invested client can achieve while working with a hypnotist that is capable of working with the issues you want to resolve.
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